Nuclear Weapons

Oral Answers to Questions — Germany – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme 12:00 am, 16th November 1960

asked the Lord Privy Seal, in view of the German generals' memorandum on nuclear weapons for Germany, and the recent discovery by German scientists of the process known as gas centrifuge, if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy on the nuclear arming of Germany.

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

Germany's rearmament under the North Atlantic Treaty Organition is today a firm requirement of Western defence and has the full support of Her Majesty's Government.

Photo of Mr Stephen Swingler Mr Stephen Swingler , Newcastle-under-Lyme

Would the right hon. Gentleman take note that this Question refers solely to the question of nuclear armaments? Is he aware that many people are disturbed about certain developments in Germany, namely, the revelations about the research into new and cheaper methods of producing atomic weapons and the German generals' demand for atomic weapons in Germany, and Dr. Adenauer's reported statement that the German army must possess the most modern atomic weapons? Has the Foreign Office taken note of those developments and what is the Government's attitude towards them?

Photo of Mr Edward Heath Mr Edward Heath , Bexley

The question of nuclear armaments for Germany is, of course, included in the wider subject which I have already mentioned. I have seen no evidence of German research into cheaper atomic weapons. If the hon. Gentleman has such evidence perhaps he will let me have it. As far as the German generals' memorandum is concerned, that, of course, had the approval of the political authorities. It was not merely a military memorandum, and it asked for nothing more than the existing situation under which Germany has atomic tactical weapons under N.A.T.O. under the command of the Supreme Commander, and with the arrangement that the nuclear warheads are under the control of the Americans.